Ukraine: Hundreds of people affected by explosion of ammunition depot

31 October 2015

Kiev/Severodonetsk (ICRC) – Huge blasts after an ammunition depot exploded in the town of Svatove, in the Lugansk region, have left at least eight people wounded and two dead. Many residents had to flee from their homes as multiple detonations continued to rock nearby buildings, interrupted the local central heating system, water and gas supply, and scattered unexploded ordnance around the surrounding area.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in close cooperation with the local branches of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS), mobilized emergency response teams to support and assist people affected by the incident.

"We had to react very quickly as dramatic reports were coming in from the explosion site. In fact, the local hospital had to be evacuated, while hundreds of other people had to spend the night in the cold," said Christophe Gravend, Head of the ICRC office in Severodonetsk.

ICRC emergency teams have already provided 2000 food rations as well as 300 warm blankets and plastic sheeting to be distributed to the most vulnerable people left without warm housing in Svatove. The hospital in Rubezhnoe, to where 40 patients from Svatove were evacuated, was provided with food, hygiene items, and medical material by the ICRC and the URCS. Further assessments of the humanitarian situation on the ground are ongoing.

For further information, please contact:

Matthias Weinreich, ICRC Kiev, tel: +380 67 509 42 06
Galyna Poshtarenko, ICRC Severodonetsk, tel: +38 067 823 89 09